30.5

Even though I’m just reclined on my couch all day, every day and you’d therefore assume I just chill out and the days pass that way, that is not the case. Something is always happening, and it’s usually stressful.

On Tuesday night, my husband stayed up late and took the dogs out for their last bathroom trip at 12:30. He thought he was going to bed – ha! The dogs got sprayed by a skunk. Riley took the brunt of it, and in the face. The skunk was on the other side of the fence and since then, Riley hasn’t wanted to go outside. She was traumatized.

Anyway, this has never happened to us before and my husband needed help. He did know not to let them in the house. I woke up, started googling, Nate drove to CVS at 1 am to get hydrogen peroxide. I was completely helpless except for my ability to google, so my sister came over at 2 to help with the “washing” of the dogs on the deck. The house absolutely reeked, and this was before the dogs ever came back in the house. The smell isn’t even anything like the typical skunk smell – it was like rotting onions and garlic. Didn’t make me nauseous but was not pleasant. And again, I couldn’t help at all. We were all up until 3:30 am, which isn’t good for this pregnant girl. The mixture is what the Internet says is the best and they were right – it worked. Unfortunately, it’s basically acid and shouldn’t be used on a dog’s head or face, and that’s where Riley got sprayed, so she still smelled. We slept for 3 hours before Riley was up and begging for food. Nate got her to Petco first thing in the morning and she got a skunk treatment grooming. Two days later, and her head still smells. Bad. But we’ve done everything we could so she’s back on the furniture. Only time will help now!

It was just frustrating because while Nate was out on the deck dealing with the dogs in the middle of the night, I wanted to help. The house smelled so bad. Issues come up and he has to handle them all, when in a normal life, both people would be needed to take care of the issue. Anyway, I’m still getting whiffs of skunk. And both dogs have been extra skittish. Sadie wouldn’t eat this morning because she was afraid of the dog food bag. And again, there’s nothing I can do to help.

I wish I could go one full day and night feeling decently comfortable. After all, it’s not like I’m doing anything. Then again, this might be wishful thinking when I’m 30.5 weeks pregnant with twins, measuring 35-36 weeks in size. One of the more annoying and sometimes infuriating pains is in my right ribs, way up high. I used to think it was because Baby B is breech so there are some body parts up there, but then I read it has something to do with the stretching of your uterus. Either way it’s awful!

And last night it all started with the rib pain. I was up and down, trying all positions to get rid of the pain. With no such luck after at least an hour of wriggling around the living room, I just went to bed. I’m sure I hadn’t drank enough and moved way too much. All of a sudden I had bad period-like cramping and lower back pain. It started to be severe. I knew that could be contractions and preterm labor, though the contractions I’ve had up until last night felt totally different. I kept an eye on it, even after Nate went to bed. I had a feeling they were contractions as the severe pain sometimes came in waves. It really hurt. I had my phone in hand after about two hours, thinking this is it, I’m going back in and these are completely different from the contractions I had in the hospital. Maybe these were the real deal.

And then all of a sudden, I fell asleep. When I woke up, the pain was gone. And it hasn’t come back since. How can you be in labor and then not be? I was sure that was worth going to the hospital for. I’m glad I didn’t, especially at midnight, but it was just so weird.

I’m monitoring it today and while the rib pain is still there off and on, the cramping isn’t. It was just so weird and slightly alarming. Blah. Waiting for preterm labor is stressful. It could be tomorrow or I could go full term. But I’m at such a high risk for ptl that I need to be on the lookout all day long. Not fun. I’m still worried about having to give birth in two different ways – both vaginal and with a c-section. Thank you for those success stories. There’s no way to know. This little boy is coming out vaginally for sure because he’s knocking on the door. After that, maybe Goat will turn. Maybe she won’t. Maybe she will drop down at least. Maybe she won’t. Maybe I’ll have to give birth in two different ways and have to recover from that. I’m pretty sure I haven’t had one iota of an ideal pregnancy since the beginning. I keep reading that I need to have a birth plan. Ha! My plan is to go full term and that isn’t likely to happen.

I hope I make it to Monday. Every day now is a gift. I know I’ve cleared a lot of hurdles thus far but I’d like to clear a few more.

Finally – my celebrity crush, my guilty pleasure, has been basically unknown in the U.S. (unless you watched The Tudors) and his movie is out this weekend and I can’t go see it!!!! I’m talking about Henry Cavill in Superman. Ugh.

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29 weeks

Thanks again, everyone! It was a crappy weekend at the hospital for sure – even though I wasn’t actually ill I felt that way, both from the mag sulfate and just the way hospitals are. I should say, I’ve never stayed at a hospital before. Never broke bones, never had a serious illness – so this was the first time. Nurses and doctors were all wonderful and nice, but it’s weird to be woken up 6 times a night, no longer caring who is seeing all of your parts, or that your hair is dirty and looks gross. Anyway, I’m not a fan. But the mag sulfate worked, and so that’s why I was there.

Today I had a follow-up appointment. The babies are approximately 3lbs 4 oz and 3 lbs 3 oz. Perfectly healthy. Bug’s head is so low that to find the heartbeat the monitor goes on my crotch. He’s head down and the doctor said his head is the cork holding it all in. Goat is breech with her head under my ribs, which explains that pain I’ve been feeling. I passed the non-stress test and went home.

Things are happening, though, both in my uterus and in my brain. (TMI alert) – my mucous plug is coming out. I thought for sure I had an infection but all the cultures are negative. I’m losing the plug. It’s been happening since my last night in the hospital. From what I’ve read, labor isn’t necessarily imminent but in my mind, that was a step towards it. The doctor didn’t really have much to say. Yes, I was in preterm labor but they stopped it, yes I am losing my plug. I still have waters intact, no bleeding, and contractions are now at bay. It’s officially a waiting game. I don’t even have an appointment for 3 weeks because there’s nothing to do. It could be days or weeks.

I made a mental change in my thinking yesterday after I realized the plug was coming out and I freaked out. I spent the whole pregnancy telling myself I’d make it far, I’d make it full term, whatever. So when this scare happened I was taken aback. But I’ve turned my thinking around. 29 weekers, whose mother has no health problems, can be okay. It could be okay. If I can hold off, great, but it could happen tomorrow and I’ve accepted that. We are going to have little babies, I’m just not sure how little. I spent time panicking over the health of my children long term due to being preemies, and that’s an exhausting and emotional roller coaster of which there is no answer. So I’m trying to tuck that worry away too.

So now that I’ve accepted this new realization, that I could give birth at any time, I’ve put away some fears and brought up others instead.

– Bug is head down and read to come out and Goat is breech. The doctor thinks I could end up with both a vaginal and c-section. That scares me! Can’t it just be one way or the other? Don’t care which. Talk about a long recovery time.

– If my water breaks and no one is home, well there are people I could call, but I’m just saying – that’s pretty stressful! Did you see that news story about the woman who gave birth to her 30 week twins on the highway? I do not want that to be me.

And otherwise, I just feel unbelievably unprepared. Obviously it’s not crucial that the nursery is done (we still need to order carpeting), the decorating and furniture building is complete (not even on my radar), or that I didn’t have a shower (I’m moving past that one). Nothing about this pregnancy journey has gone normally. But I never toured the hospital, never got to take a breastfeeding course (or any course for that matter), never found a daycare (didn’t even look yet), never found a pediatrician (again, haven’t looked)…. You get the point.

Our house isn’t ready and we aren’t ready. Yes, I know if they were born tomorrow they’d be in the NICU for quite a while, allowing time to get things ready. But it just feels so odd to be doing all of this in the wrong order! You’re not supposed to give birth and then plan for it!

At this point I just have no idea what’s going to happen. I will continue the bed rest of course and just do what I’ve been doing, and hopefully days and weeks pass. If not, then… not.

Going home!!

Thank you everyone for the nice comments! I’m so excited to be going home I can’t even tell you. Obviously I would have stayed if that’s what needed to happen but my husband wouldn’t be able to stay and it would just really suck.

Long story short – the magnesium sulfate did work. I have had some contractions today but they are not regular and don’t hurt. In other words, normal. And because of that, combined with the fact that there is currently nothing else wrong – no ruptured membranes, leakage, blood, etc. there’s no reason to keep me here. Thank goodness.

So I’m to continue bed rest at home and keep monitoring like I have been. If I have another day like Friday, I go back in. They would try the Procardia and if that worked they’d send me home with it. But I wouldn’t be on the mag drip again, at least not for long at all.

I wish I was going home with Procardia, as it does make me a little nervous to have nothing, but they would want to see if it even helps first. So if I do have to go back in, I can plan on another night or two.

Right now I’m totally disgusting and really, really appreciative of my amazing husband who has stayed with me since Friday night. I want a shower, new clothes, tasty food and my dogs. I’ll keep that pad of paper handy and keep writing those contractions down.

And I’ve hit 29 weeks today 🙂

Live from my first trip to labor and delivery

The blog is always the easiest way to update people on the current happenings inside my uterus. Here’s the short version :

On Thursday I couldn’t get comfortable. My lower back was hurting and I couldn’t figure out a position that helped. I figured being reclined on the couch for 5 weeks will do that. I also had some cramping in the morning, like a dull period cramp, but constipation causes that so I let that one go too.

On Friday I started writing down my contractions. They had been so few the previous couple days that I stopped keeping track. This day, I did. I wrote down somewhere between 30-40. They didn’t feel any different than they normally do, but were occurring around the clock, as opposed to the 3 in an hour and then none for two hours kind of pattern I had been following. However, they weren’t occurring completely regularly. They’d be 6 minutes apart, then 13, then 5, then 20. That sort of thing. Still, they didn’t let up even after I chugged a gallon of water by lunch. So, I called the OB (like 3 times – had another yeast infection as well) and in the end, she said it sounded normal and not to worry but if I really wanted to go to the hospital I could. I could not make a decision, but I kept thinking that though it might be normal, it wasn’t normal for me. I never had a day like this.

So after my husband came home from work, we went to l and d. Stopped at Wendy’s on the way too haha. After getting hooked up and checked, I was actually apparently contracting every 3 minutes. I also got my first dilation check – 2-3 cm. However, since that was my first check ever, there’s no way to know how long it had been that way. I also got the fetal fibronectin test (or something like that). Basically, if it comes back positive, you have like a 26% chance of giving birth in the next few weeks (please feel free to correct my numbers, I think it’s somewhere around there), and if it comes back negative, it’s like a 97% chance that you won’t. So the negative result is more of a sure thing while the positive is not. People have gotten a positive and carried far beyond a few weeks. My test came back positive.

I was admitted, and now it’s Sunday and I’m still here. I was put on magnesium sulfate (look up the side effects on google, not pretty). It’s like the drug you dread, but it’s the best one out there. Doctors don’t usually keep you on it more than a few days because of the side effects to the mother. I’ve been on it since Friday around 8pm and in 15 mins (noon) I will be done with it. You can’t eat or drink (besides sips of water and ice chips) while you’re on it so I’ll be looking forward to some jello quite soon.

The mag drip has helped. At this point, at the end of its course, my contractions are more like 20 minutes apart and hurt less than they did yesterday for sure. So the plan right now is this: after coming off the mag drip, I will be watched for 4 hours. Most likely, I’ll continue to have contractions but hopefully they won’t increase much from where I am now. I’ll be put on a last ditch effort drug (procardia), will maybe go home or maybe stay here, and if that fails and contractions increase, there’s nothing else they can do. I’ll be 29 weeks tomorrow.

I’m definitely nervous but the hospital is the right place to be right now.

28 weeks and third trimester

Yay! A milestone I’ve been waiting to reach for quite a while.

We met a new doctor a few days ago and he was my favorite thus far. Aside from picking on my husband for his taste in Boston sports (the doctor was clearly an Italian New Yorker) and his bluntness (he dropped a few swears which I found endearing), he was extremely supportive and helpful, and at this point, I can’t get enough of that.

He basically told me that instead of thinking of due dates, I just need to focus on the milestones. He then proceeded to tell me all the milestones I’ve already reached. Got through the first trimester, got to 18 weeks and could see all body parts were accounted for (okay, that happened at 20 weeks but close enough), got to 24 weeks which is “viability” – giving a baby a 50/50 chance of survival, and now, today, I’m at 28 weeks, giving a baby a 90% chance of survival – which, in my head, I’m rounding up to 100%, otherwise I’d go crazy. He told me I’ve done a great job so far and was impressed at what I’ve interpreted bed rest to mean. He then told me what every other doctor feels the need to say – “there are no scientific studies showing bed rest actually works”, but he said there aren’t other options at this point, so I might as well. After he left, the nurse and I agreed that bed rest for a short cervix just makes sense, as the pressure down there with twins walking around is just a bad idea. She had twins as well, was on bed rest and made it full term. Granted, she had medication for contractions and I don’t, but that still could happen. And as usual, babies looked great. I’ve been very lucky that all my pregnancy issues have been about me and not them. They grew a lot in a month – Bug is 2 lbs 10 oz and Goat is 2 lbs 9 oz. Practically the same size, not that it would be a big deal if they weren’t. But over 2.5 lbs each! I’m carrying around over 5 lbs of kids! At this point, Bug is head down (he is Baby A) and has been the whole time, while Goat has flipped a few times and is again breech, with her head firmly planted in my ribs, way to the side. There are too many other issues for me to care. If the doctor isn’t concerned, then I’m not either. So the doctor’s next goal was 31/32 weeks, but mine is 30. 30 is huge to me – two more weeks!

The doctor was also very clear about contractions, which I know I’ve been talking a lot about. First of all, he called me “thin” (and the nurse called me “tiny”), poked me in the stomach and said, “There’s your uterus. There isn’t any fat or anything extra, so therefore, you’re going to feel every little thing.” This makes sense to me, though I have to say – never in my life have I been “tiny” or even “thin”. I was born over 9 lbs and have mostly maintained an average build with lots of playing sports until my thyroid problems hit and I gained 15 pounds. I would really like to hear those words when I’m not pregnant, not when I’m having twins! But anyway.

I have contractions all the time. Many a day. Sometimes the constant movement going on inside my stomach causes them, sometimes rolling over in bed causes them, sometimes having a conversation causes them. Sometimes they come for no reason. They have increased in discomfort and amount over the last few weeks. However, the doctor said this is all fine and can happen “until the cows come home” and I won’t go into labor – unless they are at regular intervals, last a longer amount of time each, and become more and more painful. I am to watch for frequency, duration, and pain. As long as those things aren’t present, I can have these all day. That did make me feel a lot better but I still aim not to have them if I can help it. They really are uncomfortable. Luckily, they are not regular. I could have two in an hour and then not another one for three hours. That isn’t labor.

So I’m cruising along. I really don’t mind bed rest – somehow the hours just pass. What I mind is the worrying, of course, and I really wish I could help my husband, go to a store, bend over with ease, (I guess that’s not related to bed rest), and have the two baby showers I was supposed to have. Now I’m having none, except for some sort of party after the babies are here, and I’m just hoping people don’t forget, as I was hoping to get lots of clothes and diapers and not have to buy them for a while. Now that I won’t being seeing all these people, I’m a little worried that won’t happen and I won’t have any clothes for the babies! Plus they were the only showers I will ever have! Oh well.

Nothing in this journey has gone according to plan. Oh, stop planning things out, someone might say, but then they went ahead and had sex and created a baby. So in my mind, they don’t really get an opinion and I don’t want to be patronized anyway. I’m just saying – from the two years spent trying to get pregnant, and all the ups and downs that came from many a failed cycle and many fertility treatments, shots to the stomach and butt, driving to the office at 6 am, etc., to the lack of ease that has come with this pregnancy – I thought/hoped I’d love every minute of being pregnant and I don’t. I think I loved about 4 weeks of it, in between constant severe nausea and bed rest. It doesn’t mean I’d wouldn’t do it all again in order to have my first children, or that this isn’t the most important, awesome thing that’s ever happened to me – I’m simply stating that I wish I had what so many others have – sex, to make a baby, a breezy, uncomplicated pregnancy, with a normal shower and an easy birth. Still don’t know how that last part will turn out but as long as they get here healthy, I’m prepared to go through whatever’s necessary. I’m just saying, it would’ve been nice. That’s all.

Contractions and dehydration

I’m smirking right now because I just did a google search on how much water pregnant women need to drink a day. I posed the question because the majority of my contractions ( or BH, whatever they are) occur within the first 3 hours after waking up. I have chalked it up to being dehydrated, hungry, and having a full bladder. I also assume dehydration because once the day really gets going and I’m drinking water in full force, I have to get up and pee every hour, if not every 45-50 minutes. But in those first few hours after waking, an hour and a half can go by and I don’t need to get up.

SO, in the interest of finding out what else I can do to keep these contractions at bay, I did a google search about dehydration causing contractions. Yes, it’s a real thing and I knew that already. But what surprised me were the comments from women. “I don’t understand, I drink 64 oz a day!” Or the fact that a doctor told a woman she needed to drink 2 liters a day, and the woman was astounded.

Math is not my strong suit, so I googled how many ounces were in a liter. Answer? About 33 oz. So, a 2 liter bottle of soda has 66 oz give or take. Okay, so that’s how much one doctor recommended. I did see, in another extreme example, a doctor said drink 5 liters of water for a few days, then go down to 3.

Maybe I shouldn’t be smirking – maybe I should be concerned. I have this jug I got at CVS, and it holds 2.2 liters, or 74 oz. I am drinking 3 of them a day. 3. I have to. 74 times 3 – 222 oz a day. 3 soda bottles – 6 liters. And this doesn’t count the 2 mugs of prune juice I drink a day or the occasional juice box. (Yes, I drink Juicy Juice and color with markers – come at me.)

With all this liquid, I still have contractions. Once the day really gets going and I’m hydrated, they are once every few hours. Until I talk on the phone. Or someone comes over. Or I have to pee. I feel like I’m walking on eggshells (mentally of course) trying to keep these at bay. And when I first was smirking about these complaining women, now I’m wishing I was in their shoes and only had to drink one of these jugs. It’s hard to know if I’m doing this right.

The other bad time of day for contractions (other than with guests, etc.) is at night, an hour before bed or so. My legs get SO antsy – they have a mind of their own and start practically convulsing. It’s like they (the muscles) are dying a slow death and severely twitch to remind me that, if I let them, they’d be more than willing to run the 100 meter hurdles. It’s like I drank a big caffeinated coffee. It is quite annoying. I try to control them and of course I don’t get up, but inevitably I have a few contractions while I’m trying to stop myself from rolling around on this couch. I’ve still not had 4 or more contractions in an hour, but I continue to write down every one I have. Whoever said bed rest was “restful”? No one who has ever been on it, obviously.

Contractions are annoying, worrying about babies all day is mentally draining, and bed rest sucks and while I have other topics in my head, this’ll do for now.

At least Sadie enjoys puppy bed rest. Someone in this house needs to! (Riley has left the room and more than likely made a nest with my bed comforter, but I’m confident she also doesn’t mind.)

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Home again

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It looks like the dogs are really hating the couch rest, don’t you think?

Thank goodness they behave when it’s just me at home alone. Sadie paws at the door when it’s a beautiful day because she wants to lay in the sun, but otherwise what you just saw is what I get. Poor things don’t get much exercise anymore. But they are really cute.

The summary of today’s appointment is this:

I am at home on bed rest, as opposed to in the hospital, as long as my contractions stay irregular, no matter what my short cervix length is. If my cervix does get super short or nonexistent (it’s holding out at 1.3 cm), then I’ll no doubt be having regular contractions and will need to be hospitalized.

This is actually good news, especially since my cervix isn’t any shorter than it was last week, but the bad news is that I am contracting. They are still irregular overall, but I can feel them. They are now strong enough for me to have figured out what they feel like. In my non-stress test today, I had only two, but 10 minutes apart. They sent me home, but these contractions make me really nervous. And I seem to get them from talking, getting stressed out, being in the car, and eating. So I’m keeping track and praying they stay irregular. And I’m keeping still and not talking much. It just sucks.

In other news, I am also concerned that I’m not gaining enough weight. Again, I’m not petite here. My starting weight (after losing 7 pounds with first trimester nausea) was 140. But I’ve still only gained 15 pounds or so, and I’m 25 weeks with twins! Not only that, my stomach since being on couch rest has shrunk at least in half. It is the smallest bump. I could probably put on a sweatshirt and you wouldn’t know I’m pregnant. It’s such a drastic difference in two weeks and I don’t like it. 6 months pregnant with twins – I should be quite large, right? What’s up with that? Doctors aren’t concerned or even thinking about it. I just want the babies to have the healthiest weight possible when born. I never had trouble gaining tons of weight with my thyroid problem – now is not the time to all of a sudden be slim.

New and old worries – not every day is like this but today it is.